These three contracts are holding the Green Bay Packers back over the next couple of seasons.
Green Bay Packers fans are used to seeing their team cruise through the free agency period without making much noise.
Over the past couple of offseasons, it has been due to a lack of salary cap space.
The Packers have continued to restructure contracts, pushing money into future years. Short-term savings result in long-term salary cap problems, which the Packers are now facing.
Let's look at three contracts holding the Packers back over the next couple of seasons.
Note: The salary cap numbers in this article are according to Over The Cap.
3. Preston Smith
2023 cap hit: $6.37 million
2024 cap hit: $16.51 million
The Packers lowered Preston Smith's cap hit by restructuring his deal this offseason.
However, his cap hit rises to $16.51 million in 2024, $17.51 million in 2025, and $18.21 million in 2026. He will be entering his age-32 season in 2024.
Due to their salary cap limitations, restructuring Smith's deal was necessary, but it meant pushing money into future years.
Green Bay will likely need to find a way out of the contract in the coming years. Releasing Smith becomes a realistic option either next offseason or in 2025, but the Packers would be left with a significant dead cap hit -- $13.99 million by releasing him next year, or $9.88 million in 2025.